Rafa – take 2.

22 May

<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />             GREGORIO BORGIA/ASSOCIATED PRESS<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Monday.” /></p> <p>Pictures: AP. RAPHAEL NADAL WINS A RECORD 6TH ITALIAN OPEN MEN’S SINGLES TITLE. and celebrates.</p> <p>Rafa defeated ATP world #1 Novak Djokovic for the second consecutive time in a Masters event final this clay court season. This will help erase some of the demons of the 7 straight losses in finals – including Rome last year – that  he suffered at the hands of Djokovic.</p> <p>In his post match press conference, Nadal acknowledged last year that Djokovic had a mental advantage over him after all those losses.</p> <p>“You need to accept your losses because this is a game and in this sport you will always lose, but it is normal that you lose and you need to be patient to wait for your moment,” Nadal said. “I accept my losses and try to keep being competitive. You win a few points and you lose a few and you can lose a match. Today I won and that’s the difference. You don’t need to find great things — it is the small things that make the difference.”</p> <p>The Rome Masters win was Rafa’s  49th career title – and 35th on clay – but the real prize is that Rafa has again gone past Roger Federer and moves  back to ATP#2. This is a big deal coming into the French Open as it means Nadal is safe from a semi-final with Djokovic, something I’m sure Federer himself was trying to avoid. And some ominous words from Rafa also at his press conference - ”I don’t think I played that well. I can do better,” Nadal said. “When you are not serving 100 percent perfect then you are in trouble because he returns hard. I am trying to play more aggressive and I am hitting the ball better than last year.”</p> <p>It was the record 7th win at the Monte Carlo Masters earlier this month that got “the monkey off the back” in Nadal’s head to head count with Djokovic, and with this straight sets win for a record 6th singles title in Rome, the undisputed King of Clay – Raphael Nadal looks re-invigorated and hungry for French Open success. Long live the king of clay!</p> <p><strong>The PRO</strong></p> 												<p>Tags: <a href=

Raphael Nadal won his 6th Rome Masters singles title earlier today. Rafa defeated ATP world #1 Novak Djokovic for the second consecutive time in a Masters event final this clay court season. This will help erase some of the demons of the 7 straight losses in finals – including Rome last year – that  he suffered at the hands of Djokovic.

In his post match press conference, Nadal acknowledged last year that Djokovic had a mental advantage over him after all those losses.

“You need to accept your losses because this is a game and in this sport you will always lose, but it is normal that you lose and you need to be patient to wait for your moment,” Nadal said. “I accept my losses and try to keep being competitive. You win a few points and you lose a few and you can lose a match. Today I won and that’s the difference. You don’t need to find great things — it is the small things that make the difference.”

The Rome Masters win was Rafa’s  49th career title – and 35th on clay – but the real prize is that Rafa has again gone past Roger Federer and moves  back to ATP#2. This is a big deal coming into the French Open as it means Nadal is safe from a semi-final with Djokovic, something I’m sure Federer himself was trying to avoid. And some ominous words from Rafa also at his press conference – “I don’t think I played that well. I can do better,” Nadal said. “When you are not serving 100 percent perfect then you are in trouble because he returns hard. I am trying to play more aggressive and I am hitting the ball better than last year.”

It was the record 7th win at the Monte Carlo Masters earlier this month that got “the monkey off the back” in Nadal’s head to head count with Djokovic, and with this straight sets win for a record 6th singles title in Rome, the undisputed King of Clay – Raphael Nadal looks re-invigorated and hungry for French Open success. Long live the king of clay!

The PRO

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